UNIVERSITY OF FERRARA Occupational Health Service Unit Via Savonarola, FERRARA (Italy)

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1 Workplace safety: basic information for students (considered employees according to the law in force) information about workplace health and safety Main Italian Law: Decree Law 9th April 2008, n. 81, GENERAL RUDIMENTS All workers have a right to work in places where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Health and safety is about stopping you getting hurt at work or ill through work. Your employer is responsible for health and safety, but you must help. Definitions: "worker" includes: (a) any person who is employed by an employer to perform a service whether for gain or reward, or hope of gain or reward or not, (b) any person engaged by another person to perform services, whether under a contract of employment or not (i) who performs work or services for another person for compensation or reward on such terms and conditions that he is, in relation to that person, in a position of economic dependence upon that person more closely resembling the relationship of any employee than that of an independent contractor, and (ii) who works or performs services in a workplace which is owned or operated by the person who engages him to perform services, (c) any person undergoing training or serving an apprenticeship at an educational institution or at any other place (STUDENTS); Application of the Decree Law 81/2008 at the University, specifications: Students : Employer: are considered employees. Workplace safety education and training must therefore be provided. The Rector of the University of Ferrara ST - August

2 DUTIES OF EMPLOYER Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all his workers; Every employer shall (a) provide and maintain a workplace, necessary equipment, systems and tools that are safe and without risks to health, so far as is reasonably practicable; (b) provide to all his workers such information, instruction, training, supervision and facilities to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all his workers; (c) ensure that all his workers are acquainted with any safety or health hazards which may be encountered by the workers in the course of their service, and that workers are familiar with the use of all devices or equipment provided for their protection; (d) conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons who are not in his service are not exposed to risks to their safety or health arising out of, or in connection with activities in his workplace; (e) consult and co-operate with the workplace safety and health service; (f) consult and co-operate with the worker safety and health representative (g) comply with the regulations; (h) co-operate with any other person exercising a duty imposed by the regulations Every worker (Student) while at work shall: DUTIES OF WORKER (Student) (a) take reasonable care to protect his safety and health and the safety and health of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; (b) at all times, when the nature of his work requires, use all devices and wear all articles of clothing and personal protective equipment designated and provided for his protection by his employer, or required to be used and worn by him by the regulations; (c) consult and co-operate with the workplace safety and health service; (d) consult and co-operate with the worker safety and health representative; (e) comply with the regulations; (f) co-operate with any other person exercising a duty imposed by the regulations. OCCUPATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICE: MAIN DUTIES (a) Protecting workers against any health hazard that may arise out of their work or the conditions under which it is carried on; (b) Ensuring the physical and mental adjustment of workers in their employment and ensuring their assignment to jobs for which they are suited; (c) Contributing to the establishment and maintenance of a high degree of physical and mental wellbeing of the workers. ST - August

3 WHO IS IN CHARGE OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FERRARA? Employer (RECTOR) OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE 2 Occupational medical officer 1 Responsible Officer for Occupational Health Service 2 Staff Occupational Health Service 6 Worker safety and health representative MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS AND HEALTH SURVEILLANCE The chief occupational medical officer may carry out, or may arrange for another physician or other qualified person to carry out, any medical examinations or health surveillance of workers or former workers as he or she considers desirable for the purpose of administering the regulations. But no medical examination of a worker may be carried out without the worker's consent. HEALTH AND SAFETY MESURES (a) minimize the number of people exposed to risks; (b) organize a production process based on staff rotation in order to limit everyone s exposure to risks; (c) use individual protection devices. ST - August

4 INDIVIDUAL PROTECTION DEVICES Definition: are all articles which serve to protect workers in even the most extreme conditions. Safety at work is an issue of great importance, and clothing plays an essential role: having clothing and accessories in line with safety standards helps protect from all those risks - common and otherwise - which workers in some sectors may encounter. Individual protection devices typologies: Indicative, but not exhaustive, list of the individual protective equipment for the operations/hazards requiring their use: Parts of the body to be protected Protective equipment Operation / hazard Head Helmet Building sites Civil engineering and underground work High or superimposed places of work Dismantling or demolition work Work in trenches, shafts and tunnels Work under hoisting gear, cranes, etc. Feet Safety shoes (boots) Civil engineering work Dismantling or demolition work Transport and storage Work with very hot or cold fluids (cryogenics) Work with chemicals Ears Ear plugs Work station with a noise Eyes / face Ear muffs Spectacles Goggles Arc-welding mask and helmet Full-face guards Welding, sanding, cutting, drilling Machine-tools producing cuttings Handling chemicals Work with laser beams U/v and i/r radiation Hands / arms Gloves Handling chemicals Work with cryogenic fluids Welding Work on live electrical equipment Pickling or work with edged/pointed tools Respiratory passages Entire body Anti-dust, gas and radioactive dust filtering equipment Air/oxygen breathing apparatus (oxybox, not for use in confined spaces) Safety harness Fall-guard Protective clothing Work station with special atmospheric pollution (dust, smoke, aerosols, vapours, gases) Confined spaces, work underground where there may be a lack of oxygen (smoke, leakage of cryogenic fluids, etc.) Work in high places Chemicals and radioactive substances, heat and cold Welding and work with machine-tools ST - August

5 SAFETY SIGNALS This table summarizes the different kinds of signs you may require and gives explanation of their meaning: Example Category Meaning Shape/Colours Usage Safe Procedure SAFE emergency escape route or first aid Square or oblong. White symbol or symbol and text on a green background. To show the way to medical assistance To show the way to an area of safety To indicate that a course of action is safe to take Mandatory YOU MUST Circular. White symbol or symbol and text on a blue background. To convey actions that must be carried out To confirm emergency procedures in the event of fire. Fire Equipment FIRE Fire Fighting Square or oblong. White symbol or symbol and text on a red background. To indicate the location of fire equipment To comply with The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations, which require any non- automatic fire fighting equipment to be indicated by signs Warning BE CAREFUL Warning Triangular. Black symbol or symbol and text on a yellow background surrounded by a black triangular band. To warn your staff of the potential dangers they face in and around the workplace Prohibition DO NOT Danger, alarm Circular with cross band. Black symbol on a white background, inside a red circle with a red cross bar. To convey prohibited actions To reduce the risk of fire To prevent personal injury ST - August

6 VIDEO DISPLAY TERMINAL (VDT) SAFETY General VDT safety tips: (1) Worker should take vision breaks about each hour to allow the eye muscles to relax; (2) Correct posture: The workstation should have a padded keyboard, adjustable table and tilt screen. This allows the worker to experiment and find a position that is comfortable (3) Proper light: light should be adequate to help alleviate eyestrain and glare; (4) Screen adjustment: the screen should be tilt; (5) Chair placement. Main worker complains related to VDT use: (1) Eyestrain; (2) Back pain; (3) Neck strain; (4) Fatigue; (5) Headaches; (6) Blurred vision; (7) Arm/hand discomfort. FIRE SAFETY General Safety Mesures The following are general safety measures in establishing and maintaining fire protection in the workplace: (1) Never pile or lay material in a way that it covers or blocks access to firefighting equipment. (2) Make sure to use only approved containers for the separation and disposal of combustible refuse. Remember to always replace the lid. (3) Never store flammable materials near of a building or other structure. (4) Stack and pile all materials in orderly and stable piles. (5) Never let unnecessary combustible materials get accumulated in any part of your work area. (6) Make a periodic clean-up of entire work site and keep grass and weeds under control. (7) Regularly dispose of combustible debris and scrap from your work area. (8) Use only approved containers and tanks for storage, handling, and transport of combustible and flammable liquid. (9) Always perform evaluation procedures before performing operations that present fire hazards like welding. Fire equipments safety mesures (1) Inspect and maintain firefighting equipment regularly. (2) Place an adequate number of firefighting equipment in plain view in your work areas. When appropriate, label the location of each one and make sure it is properly rated. (3) Provide employees with proper training in fire prevention and protection. (4) Prohibit smoking at or around work areas where fire hazards are present. Put up signs, saying NO SMOKING or OPEN FLAMES. ST - August

7 The Fire Triangle: The fire triangle or combustion triangle is a simple model, from the practitioners of firefighting, for understanding the ingredients necessary for most fires. The triangle illustrates the rule that in order to ignite and burn, a fire requires three elements: heat, fuel, and oxygen. The fire is prevented or extinguished by removing any one of them. A fire naturally occurs when the elements are combined in the right mixture. Without sufficient heat, a fire cannot begin, and it cannot continue. Heat can be removed by dousing with water; the water turns to steam and the steam is further heated, taking the heat with it. Introducing particles of powder or any gas in the flame removes heat in the same manner. Separating burning fuels from each other also reduces the heat Without fuel, a fire will stop. Fuel can be removed naturally, as where the fire has consumed all the burnable fuel, or manually, by mechanically or chemically removing the fuel from the fire. Fuel separation is an important factor In fire suppression, and is the basis for most major tactics. Note, however, that the fire stops because a lower concentration of fuel vapor in the flame leads to a decrease in energy release and a lower temperature. Removing the fuel thereby decreases the heat. Without sufficient Oxygen, a fire cannot begin, and it cannot continue. With a decreased oxygen concentration, the combustion velocity gets lower. For more information please contact the Occupational and Health Service Unit at the University of Ferrara: Edoardo Priani (Responsible Officer of the Occupational and Health Service Unit) Via Savonarola, 9 Ferrara Phone: * ST - August

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